Reading & Language Development

The Ursuline School offers specialized academic support to qualified students through The Reading and Language Development Program.

The RLD team of learning specialists is attuned to the developmental needs of students with learning differences and attentional challenges, offering small group instruction in addition to a student’s conventional course load.
The goal of the RLD Program is to work with students in small groups to address learning and attentional issues in order to master content areas, and the skills needed to work independently.
Upon approval, students meeting criteria (with appropriate psycho-educational documentation) can receive academic support by participating in the Reading and Language Development Department. Students with appropriate documentation may have access to extended time testing without being a member of RLD.


General Information:

  • The Ursuline School supports students who need accommodations to be successful in a college preparatory school.
  • Documented curriculum modifications are not honored by The Ursuline School.
  • Documented language exemptions are honored by The Ursuline School.
  • There is an additional course fee of $500 for participation in this program in the 2022-23 school  year.

Documented Classroom Accommodations Honored at The Ursuline School:

  • Preferential seating
  • Use of assistive technology for note-taking purposes
  • Repetition of directions
  • Increased wait time for verbal responses
  • Sensory/Bathroom breaks as needed

Documented Testing Accommodations Honored at The Ursuline School:

  • Extended time (1.5 time) for classroom tests
  • Extended time (1.5 time) for midterms and finals
  • Use of a computer for tests (when essay writing is involved)

Process for Requesting Accommodations and/or Participation in the RLD Program:

  • Requests for accommodations and/or participation in RLD will be considered after The Ursuline School has received a student’s evaluative paperwork (IEP, 504, private evaluation) which is supported by norm-based educational and psychological testing.
  • Evaluations must be current (conducted within the past two years), and copies must be presented to TUS upon admission to the school, or when requesting academic support.
  • If a determination is made to offer a student academic support/accommodations, RLD will share all necessary materials with appropriate personnel.

Important NOTE:

Decisions regarding accommodations for college entrance testing (PSAT, SAT, AP, and ACT) are not made by The Ursuline School. While TUS applies for standardized testing accommodations on a student’s behalf, College Board and The ACT Program make their own determinations based on their developed criteria. The Director of the Reading and Language Development Department will apply on behalf of any TUS student with supporting documentation (regardless of RLD participation).


The RLD team of learning specialists includes:

Ms. Valerie McCourt, Chair of the Dept –

Ms. Joan Brescia –

Ms. Mary Cunningham –

Ms. Danielle  Goldsmith -

Mrs. Kristy O'Brien -

Mr. Pa Sallah –